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The Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Education and Communications portfolio includes products, events, and programs aligned with priority areas identified by the federal Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education (CoSTEM). This portfolio of activities engages audiences in the story, the science, and the adventure of NASA's scientific explorations of our home planet, the solar system, and the universe beyond.

This Projects Tab contains links to individual project descriptions, including overviews, audiences served, reports, evaluation information, contact information, websites, and other features, organized by CoSTEM goals. The list of projects can be narrowed using the filters on the left sidebar. Click on a project’s name to view details. You are viewing archived activities; view current activities.

These projects are applicable to STEM Instruction

CoSTEM 1:
STEM
Instruction
CoSTEM 2:
Youth and Public Engagement
CoSTEM 3:
Undergraduate Student Experiences
CoSTEM 4:
Working with Diverse Audiences
CoSTEM 5:
Graduate
Education
Dawn Informal Education Resources

Development and adaptation of existing materials for Out-of-School time settings, including Hasta La Vesta. This includes the adaptation of existing classroom materials for K-12 settings and FY12 continued development of Explorer Guides as stand-alone materials for students. It also includes the collaboration with Discovery to develop a new activity piloted in Small Bodies, Big Concepts using art to deepen visual analysis of images from solar system bodies. The materials were received positively across the country and have extended the Dawn missions resources for OST significantly. 

Dawn Teacher Resources

Material development for FY 2012 will include Solar System Origins module and accompanying interactives including the stand alone activity "Active Accretion" and "Active Phase Changes." For FY 2012, this will include formatting, posting, internal and product review and subsequent revisions of the Solar Systems Origins module and the initial development of the Data Analysis module. Content module on Dawn instruments: Framing Cameras, Visible and Infrared Spectrometer, Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector, and Gravity Science. Module includes multiple teacher guides, student activities, interactive simulations, and PowerPoint presentations as resources. The materials in this module will introduce students to the ways that scientists, engineers, and technologists “in the real world” design instrumentation that utilize the interactions between different frequencies/wavelengths of the EMR and matter to make scientific measurements and analyze data. FY 2011 Funds are for development of the module and interactive simulations. FY 2012 funds are for revisions for NASA Product Review and preparation for pilot testing.

Dawn Web site

The Dawn website includes up-to-date resources and information of thematic asteroid content and mission specific multimedia and educational materials. Secondary pages include details of mission, science, technology, multimedia, education, community and get involved pages. The homepage includes features, timelines and links to where is the spacecraft is now, mission status reports, media releases and scientist/engineer interviews. http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov. During FY 2011, the website underwent a redesign to comply with other JPL websites. In FY 2012, refinements to the site continue as new strategies are developed to accommodate data and images as well as increasing educational materials.

Dawn: Institute for Meteoritics, University of New Mexico

Dr. Horton Newsom and a graduate student update information on "meteorights" and "meteorwrongs" providing expert advise and walk-in opportunities for the general public. This effort provides linkage to existing meteorite knowledge and the Dawn Mission.

Dawn: Student Opportunities

In FY 2011, Stardust NExT organized a district wide NASA event in Cheyenne Wyoming modeled after similar activities conducted by NASA's Discovery Program office. A team of scientists and educators visited students in grades 6-12. An evening star party and the local observatory opened the event to students, parents and families.

ExCITES: DIY Sun Science

The DIY Sun Science app (for iPhones and iPads) allows families and educators to investigate and learn about the Sun at home, at school, or anywhere they go.

GRAIL - Earth and Space Science: Building Elementary & Secondary Teacher Skills

GRAIL MoonKAM is a student experience project for 5th-8th grade students nationwide. Middle school students use the MoonKAM website to target and request images of the moon taken by the GRAIL MoonKAM cameras. The objective of GRAIL MoonKAM is to engage students in STEM subjects.

GRAIL: Earth & Space Science – Elementary and Secondary Resources

GRAIL MoonKAM is a student experience project for 5th-8th grade students nationwide. Middle school students use the MoonKAM website to target and request images of the moon taken by the GRAIL MoonKAM cameras. The objective of GRAIL MoonKAM is to engage students in STEM subjects.

IBEX Electronic Outreach

This project involves presenting IBEX mission resources and materials via electronic means.  The purpose of this project is to bring the excitement of the IBEX mission and IBEX science results to a broad online audience and to make IBEX education and public outreach materials available online. The electronic venues for this project include:

IBEX Space Explorers Afterschool Science Club

As part of a Chicago Public Schools systemic initiative, the IBEX Space Explorers After School Program (IBEX SEC) trains teachers to use the IBEX-funded GEMS SSS Curriculum with under-represented students.  The purpose of this program is to increase student exposure to space science that they do not receive during the school day and to increase their enjoyment in science activities.  This program provides professional development and classroom support for these science clubs through workshops and through staff site visits to classrooms.

IBEX Special Needs - Formal

The IBEX Education and Public Outreach program funded the development of seven strategy guides for middle school teachers. The first six guides utilize student text from Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) Space Science Sequence for Grades 6-8: Teaching How Scientists Use Models with What Makes Up Most of the Solar System?, Teaching Roundtable Discussions with Seasons on Mars, Teaching Text Structure with Understanding the Scale of the Universe, Teaching Vocabulary Awareness with Observing Stars, Teaching Science Vocabulary with The Shape of the Moon’s Orbit, and Teaching Scientific Comparison Writing with Pluto and Charon.

An additional strategy guide detailing accommodations for middle school students with dyslexia that was designed to accompany the GEMS Space Science Sequence for Grades 6-8 is available. The development of the GEMS Space Science Sequence for Grades 6-8 was partially funded by the IBEX Education and Public Outreach program and led by the Lawrence Hall of Science. The GEMS Space Science Sequence is designed to address age-appropriate core concepts in space science and common misconceptions that students have about them, and it is divided into four units: How Does the Sun Affect the Earth?, Why Are There Seasons?, The Solar System, and Beyond the Solar System. Within each of the units, students explore different areas of space science, building on what they have learned, having their misconceptions challenged, and making connections to other areas of science they have studied.

LRO: Comparative Planetology module for Science On a Sphere (SOS)

The comparative planetology module for SOS is a formal education module on comparative planetology for grades 6-8 that will be developed during FY10. Institutions with SOS installations will be given professional development on how to use the module with students that visit their institutions. 

LRO: Educator Kit

This activity is for the production of a kit of resources drawn from all LRO E/PO. The educator kit contains strands for investigation of lunar concepts and data using lessons developed by the LRO EPO Team. 

LRO: Lunar Workshops for Educators

This activity is a workshop for educators of grades 6-12 to learn about lunar science and exploration and how to incorporate LRO data into their classrooms. Participants in the workshop attend a week-long workshop at Goddard Space Flight Center in July 2010 and are given follow-up professional development using distance learning technologies.

LRO: Middle School Educator Professional Development (MSEPD)

LRO Middle School Educator Professional Development (MSEPD) provides sustained, long-duration professional development for middle school teachers in the regions directly surrounding our E/PO partners. Educator professional development includes short and long-duration professional development experiences on lunar and planetary content using materials developed in previous LRO E/PO funding cycles. The objective of LRO E/PO middle school educator professional development is for middle school teachers to understand and address students’ lunar misconceptions.

MAVEN Educator Ambassador Project

MAVEN mission formal E/PO is a comprehensive program targeting K-12 teachers and students. The program involves product development and professional development workshops, including MAVEN Educator Ambassador Project, Space Science Teachers Summit, and Red Planet, and management and evaluation for the aforementioned activities. The objective of the MAVEN mission EPO program is to engage multiple audiences in the quest to understand Mars’ long-term atmospheric losses, giving insight into the history of Mars’ atmosphere and climate, liquid water, and planetary habitability.

MAVEN Educator Ambassador Project Spectra!

MAVEN mission formal E/PO is a comprehensive program targeting K-12 teachers and students. The program involves product development and professional development workshops, including MAVEN Educator Ambassador Project, Space Science Teachers Summit, and Red Planet, and management and evaluation for the aforementioned activities. The objective of the MAVEN mission EPO program is to engage multiple audiences in the quest to understand Mars’ long-term atmospheric losses, giving insight into the history of Mars’ atmosphere and climate, liquid water, and planetary habitability.

MAVEN: Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore! Lessons

MAVEN mission formal E/PO is a comprehensive program targeting K-12 teachers and students. The program involves product development and professional development workshops, including MAVEN Educator Ambassador Project, Space Science Teachers Summit, and Red Planet, and management and evaluation for the aforementioned activities. The objective of the MAVEN mission EPO program is to engage multiple audiences in the quest to understand Mars’ long-term atmospheric losses, giving insight into the history of Mars’ atmosphere and climate, liquid water, and planetary habitability.

MAVEN: Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore! Professional Development

Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore! – a professional development project for elementary teachers across the United States and focused on Latino, Spanish-speaking communities. The professional development will incorporate science in elementary school literacy projects using the topic of Mars exploration.

MAVEN: Space Science Teachers Summit

MAVEN mission formal E/PO is a comprehensive program targeting K-12 teachers and students. The program involves product development and professional development workshops, including MAVEN Educator Ambassador Project, Space Science Teachers Summit, and Red Planet, and management and evaluation for the aforementioned activities. The objective of the MAVEN mission EPO program is to engage multiple audiences in the quest to understand Mars’ long-term atmospheric losses, giving insight into the history of Mars’ atmosphere and climate, liquid water, and planetary habitability.

MESSENGER and NAI: Exploring Ice in the Solar System CD ROM

The MESSENGER K-12 education and public outreach (E/PO) efforts encompass teacher professional development and web-available content-based curriculum for K-12 students and educators. The Educator Fellowship program trains educators who commit to conducting teacher professional development using high-quality educational materials featuring mission-related themes. The objective of the MESSENGER E/PO program is to prepare classroom teachers across the nation to incorporate high-quality, NASA-developed educational materials and thus maximize student exposure to NASA themes that will both inspire and educate. 

MESSENGER: Education Modules (MEMs)

This project provides a curriculum for teachers, Pre K-12, on a range of topics associated with the questions and challenges of the MESSENGER Mission. This project ensures that the high-quality materials developed to improve understanding of NASA missions is readily available to teachers and students, both nationally and internationally. Trained instructors (MESSENGER Fellows) conduct workshops for teachers and instructors in the use of the curriculum which is also freely available on the mission web site.

MESSENGER: Exploring the Inner Solar System e-Book

The MESSENGER K-12 education and public outreach (E/PO) efforts encompass teacher professional development and web-available content-based curriculum for K-12 students and educators. The Educator Fellowship program trains educators who commit to conducting teacher professional development using high-quality educational materials featuring mission-related themes. The objective of the MESSENGER E/PO program is to prepare classroom teachers across the nation to incorporate high-quality, NASA-developed educational materials and thus maximize student exposure to NASA themes that will both inspire and educate.

MESSENGER: Mosaic Postcards

The MESSENGER K-12 education and public outreach (E/PO) efforts encompass teacher professional development and web-available content-based curriculum for K-12 students and educators. The Educator Fellowship program trains educators who commit to conducting teacher professional development using high-quality educational materials featuring mission-related themes. The objective of the MESSENGER E/PO program is to prepare classroom teachers across the nation to incorporate high-quality, NASA-developed educational materials and thus maximize student exposure to NASA themes that will both inspire and educate. 

MESSENGER: Mosaic Postcards web-based materials

The MESSENGER K-12 education and public outreach (E/PO) efforts encompass teacher professional development and web-available content-based curriculum for K-12 students and educators. The Educator Fellowship program trains educators who commit to conducting teacher professional development using high-quality educational materials featuring mission-related themes. The objective of the MESSENGER E/PO program is to prepare classroom teachers across the nation to incorporate high-quality, NASA-developed educational materials and thus maximize student exposure to NASA themes that will both inspire and educate.

MESSENGER: Online Learning Interactive Materials

The MESSENGER K-12 education and public outreach (E/PO) efforts encompass teacher professional development and web-available content-based curriculum for K-12 students and educators. The Educator Fellowship program trains educators who commit to conducting teacher professional development using high-quality educational materials featuring mission-related themes. The objective of the MESSENGER E/PO program is to prepare classroom teachers across the nation to incorporate high-quality, NASA-developed educational materials and thus maximize student exposure to NASA themes that will both inspire and educate. 

MESSENGER: Reprinting updated Exploring the Inner Solar System book

The MESSENGER K-12 education and public outreach (E/PO) efforts encompass teacher professional development and web-available content-based curriculum for K-12 students and educators. The Educator Fellowship program trains educators who commit to conducting teacher professional development using high-quality educational materials featuring mission-related themes. The objective of the MESSENGER E/PO program is to prepare classroom teachers across the nation to incorporate high-quality, NASA-developed educational materials and thus maximize student exposure to NASA themes that will both inspire and educate. 

MESSENGER: Training Workshops for MESSENGER Educator Fellows

This project is a multi-day workshop for approximately 30 MESSENGER Educator Fellows held every 2 years. The purpose is to: ensure that the Fellows have up-to-date training on the MESSENGER education modules (MEMS); provide a venue for the Fellows to train each other as appropriate; and provide a venue for Fellows to share recipes for success. Trained MESSENGER Fellows commit to conducting workshops for at least 100 educators per year in their communities, and at local, regional, and national conferences.

MESSENGER: Workshops by MESSENGER Educator Fellows

In this program, approximately 30 MESSENGER Fellows conduct at least 100 workshops per year for educators in their communities, and at local, regional, and national conferences. The purpose is to ensure widespread dissemination of high quality NASA education products to classrooms across the nation. MESSENGER Fellows arrange and conduct their own workshops with support, oversight, management and evaluation provided by  the MESSENGER E/PO team. 

MMS: Cyber Cafe

The Cyber Café is an online collaborative space where a new way of social and experiential learning can take place. Working with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and their existing network of professionals, the resources in the MMS and Space Weather Action Center (SWAC) programs are used to engage educators from around the world in monthly topics that are relevant to the classroom, school and/or professional arenas. Café participants tackle key curricular and training areas in education specifically related to MMS STEM content. At the end of each 6-week Café, participants produce educational artifacts (webinars, curricula, etc.) that are used and shared in a variety of learning environments.

MMS: EPO Website

The E/PO section of the MMS website is specifically designed for number of MMS E/PO audiences and hosts a growing collection of lesson plans, activities, games, Interactives, podcasts, video clips and social media links, while highlighting the contributions, accomplishments and career paths of mission personnel. The MMS social media team works closely with the GSFC Office of Communications and NASA’s existing social media networks to reach the target audiences.

MMS: Launch Party Resources

The online ‘Educators Launch Kit’ will include Launch Party ideas, activities, and links to mission content, videos and social media pages. When available the page will also contain information on how to connect to the live launch. From these pages, users will be invited to join the MMS Magnetic Space Café. This collaborative website used by NASA's Science Education and Public Outreach Forum will provide an online space where educators and the general public come to chat, receive E/PO updates and ask questions. After launch, the Launch Party Kit will be modified to be an MMS Mission Party kit.

MMS: NASA EDGE (Video Mission Updates/Career Interviews)

NASA EDGE is an unscripted, non-traditional video podcast or vodcast designed to highlight all things NASA in a unique and fun way. Built in the framework of sports talk radio (i.e. Mike and Mike in the Morning - ESPN Radio), NASA EDGE has generated a positive buzz for NASA in a way in which young teens and adults can relate. Produced vodcast segments will focus on a particular components of the MMS mission. For example, one segment might focus on the science instruments and another on the engineering design of the MMS satellite. In addition, the team will produced a series of 5min MMs career-based video clips that are promoted on the MMS YouTube channel, website and social media venues. In March 2015, NASA EDGE will produce a live webcast from the MMS launch site.

MMS: Second Life

MMS worked with Stephanie Smith (NASA Second Life Designer) to install models of the MMS spacecraft on NASA's eEducation Island. Second Life has become less of a draw for users lately but continues to be a place for MMS materials and activities. Given the capabilities of Second Life, it represents an environment that is very well suited for exploring the imagery of MMS.

MMS: Social Media

The MMS social media program is intended to communicate the science of MMS, as well as Heliospheric and STEM-related information to the general public and education professionals in an educational, fun and engaging way.

MMS: Space Math (Instructional Guide)

This guide uses examples from the MMS Mission to introduce mathematics in a real-world context to fifth through eighth graders. It is meant to help students learn about math utilizing the NASA MMS mission and be able to produce artifacts that can be shared with their peers and with their families. The main area of mathematics covered in this guide is geometry. The guide focuses on two-dimensional and three-dimensional geometry to assist students in developing spatial skills. There are also some activities that involve algebra and computational skills.

MMS: STEAM Camp

STEAM Camp - Dublin ISD piloted the MMS Challenge during the summer STEAM camp of 2012 and hosted a NASA national student summit in April of 2012 to help generate excitement about NASA’s MMS mission. Student experiences included hosting a digital art, physics, and robotics exhibition. Although Dublin ISD is a small and rural school, the impact of DISD STEAM camp led to an after school robotics program during the fall of 2012. The NASA MMS Challenge was piloted in Dublin ISD during the spring of 2012 and during Dublin ISD’s STEAM 2012 camp. The program was featured at ASCD 2012 fall conference, ISTE 2012, TCEA 2013, and was showcased at SITE 2013 and ISTE 2013. This program provides Dublin ISD and NASA the opportunity to extend on the previous experiences to focus on solar renewable energy and to pilot a fabrication unit to build academic vocabulary relating to renewable energies, solar weather, and magnetic space topics. The objective is to increase students’ interest in the MMS mission and science. The evaluation was the spinoff programs offered by the district as a strong indicator of student interest.

MMS: Student and Teacher Computational Thinking Resources for NASA's MMS Mission

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) will partnet with the MMS mission to develop 3 resources related to the MMS Mission and student learning around the magnetosphere, space weather, and data manipulation.

The first resource will repurpose the previously created iBook for teachers, a companion to the student MMS Transmedia book (TBook), into other e-formats such as mobi and epub so they are accessible across the spectrum of e-readers in Kindle, Nook, and Android e-formats. While the TBook, developed by David Slykhuis and Troy Cline, focuses on experiments that help students understand the foundational scientific principles of the magnetosphere and engineering principles of the MMS satellite design, the companion resource currently is in iBook format, a mobile e-book with multimedia embedded. ISTE will make this same iBook resource available in other e-reader formats (see above) that provide an instructional guide for teachers to align these activities to both ISTE Standards and Next Generation Science Standards, and demonstrate how to modify TBook activities for students based on their age, background, and experience.

The second resource will be a Computational Thinking Student Activity e-book that teaches students how to collect data sets, analyze the information, and present their findings to create authentic, real-world application activities, known as citizen science, that can be applied to data streams coming down from the MMS mission or other related activities.

The third resource will be a companion teacher guide iBook that provides an instructional guide on how to teach students with the Computational Thinking Student Activity e-book, which again, will align to Next Generation Science Standards and the ISTE Standards; and digital age tools that teachers can use with the Computational Thinking Student Activity book to create meaningful interpretations of the data streaming from the MMS mission or similar types of activities and encouraging students to post their findings through social media channels. 

MMS: Student TransMedia Book (iMaginetic Space)

The Student Transmedia Book (T-Book) is a digital age storybook designed to help students learn about the NASA’s MMS mission through a variety of inquiry and engineering based experiences. A T-book, is a standard print book that serves as a nexus for all of the physical objects and digital resources necessary for its telling. A T-book exists in both a physical and digital space, which facilitates the seamless transition between the two states. It includes experiment instructions, data collection tables, reflection activities, QR codes linking to MMS content all while encouraging the use of digital fabrication.

MMS: Teacher iBook (iMaginetic Space)

The “Educators’ iBook Companion” is a mobile resource for the iPad embedded with self-paced professional development tools, information, and resources for educators. The iBook authors created rich learning content embedded with text, audio, and video that is well suited for complex concepts or demonstrations. This digital age teacher’s guide embeds: dynamic, interactive MMS content from NASA’s Space Weather Action network website (pending permission from NASA); lesson and experiment extensions that are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and the NETS; and self-paced professional development for teachers seeking to enhance their digital age teaching skills.

MMS: Teacher Training

Teacher professional development is designed to familiarize teachers with the MMS mission, the science and technoloygy, and the education resources. A special workshop on NASA and earth and space weather was designed and offered during FY14.Teacher training efforts were identified specifically for the impact and reach of the MMS mission. In 2014, a total of 13 teacher training related activities were identified reaching over 1100 teachers, educators, administrators, and university faculty.

Solar Dynamics Observatory - NEAT program

This program trains graduate students, with help of a Physics Education Research specialist, to present NASA-developed classroom activities to K-12 teachers, and to coach the teachers how to use those activities in their classrooms.  Program facilitators adopt and/or adapt activities from the existing, extensive catalogue of NASA-developed & -approved activities.  At the request of the teachers, program facilitators deliver the training/coaching sessions at their schools, with no cost to the teachers.  Participating K-12 teachers get 2 continuing education credits from the State of Montana.

Solar Dynamics Observatory - Think Scientifically Science Literacy Program

Think Scientifically is a three-book series for elementary school teachers that integrates math, science and reading instruction. Each storybook focuses on a key science theme and includes a hands-on science lesson, math and language arts activities, and other educational resources that can be easily utilized in the classroom. The books are based on national standards and were written by teachers. The books include a hands-on lab activity, a data collection/graphing activity, a language arts activity, a book walk, a bulletin board idea, etc.

Solar Dynamics Observatory HMI Instrument - Teacher Resources

This project involves development and distribution of solar science resources, learning guides, curricula, etc. designed to complement SDO and IRIS educator workshops and also serve as stand-alone materials (or with web-based instructional materials).

Solar Dynamics Observatory HMI Instrument - Teacher Workshops

The SDO EPO team presents a series of workshops to provide materials and techniques as to how educators can incorporate solar studies and space weather topics into science classrooms.

Space Weather Action Center

Imagine being able to monitor the progress of an entire solar storm from the time it erupts from our sun until it sweeps past our small planet effecting enormous changes in our magnetic field. Now imagine being able to do all of this from your classroom-based Space Weather Action Center (S.W.A.C.)! By following the basic steps in the Instructional Guide your class will soon be on its way to accessing, analyzing and recording NASA satellite and observatory data. You will also want to download the 'step-by-step' Educator's Setup Guide where you will find a variety of recommendations and diagrams showing you how to construct a fully functional SWAC inside your classroom while keeping potential limitations on classroom space and technology in mind.

Once established your class will be ready to move into the second cross-disciplinary phase of the program where they will transform their journal data into real S.W.A.C. news reports! We've made this phase easy by providing an adaptable SWAC script! All they have to do is fill in the missing pieces based on the data collected in their student journals. In the S.W.A.C. Setup Guide we have suggested several very inexpensive alternative methods by which you can produce multimedia Space Weather Action Reports.

Download the student Flip Charts and Data Collection Sheets from the Downloadable Materials page. Each Flip Chart offers 'Step by Step' instructions on how to quickly retrieve and transfer data to specified Data Collection Sheets. We have divided all of the Space Weather Action Center resources into four 'color-coded' categories: Sunspot Regions (orange), Storm Signals (green), Magnetosphere (blue) and Aurora (purple). The same color code scheme is used in the flipchart, the data collection sheets and on the Live Data and Tutorials webpage. You can always know which section you're in with one quick glance!

For those educators wishing to incorporate SWAC as a classroom learning experience, we have also provided an Instructional Guide and a Flip chart Guide.

Each SWAC contains the following elements:

  • Computer (Internet Access Required)
  • Instructional Flip Charts (Assembly Required)
  • Data Collection Clipboards or Notebooks (Assembly Required)
  • SWAC Display Board or Bulletin Board (Assembly Required)

Students are encouraged to design their action centers with readily available art supplies and downloadable NASA imagery. This artistic approach instills a sense of student ownership and establishes NASA as a visual point of interest in the classroom environment.

Use the introductory steps provided in the Flip Charts to quickly access and retrieve space weather data. Each Flip Chart is directly linked to specific Data Collection Sheets that will allow you to quickly record and analyze the necessary sets of data. You will find that the data collection sheets follow the same sequence and color coding as the flip charts: Sunspot Regions (orange), Storm Signals (green), Magnetosphere (Blue), Auroras (Purple).

Once you have created your SWAC your class will be ready to move into the second cross-disciplinary phase of the program: creating real SWAC news reports! We've made this phase easy by providing your students with a sample script! All they have to do is fill in the missing pieces based on the data collected in their student journals.

Now it's lights, camera, action! You are finally ready to turn your script into a multimedia broadcast complete with current NASA data and dazzling graphics! If your school isn't equipped with a broadcasting studio, don't worry! We've suggested several very inexpensive methods by which you and your class can produce professional looking Space Weather Action Reports.

The SWAC website is an extremely robust "one stop shopping' learning tool complete with step-by-step tutorials on how to interpret live or 'near real time' space weather data from 10 missions and 36 instruments. All of the data links required to make your space weather observations are located on a single webpage called Space Weather Data. Beside each of the 'live data' links you will also find 'tutorial' links containing easy to read tutorials that that will help you when interpreting the data. You can always find your place by returning to this page!

STEP: Sustainable Trainer Engagement Program for Earth and Space Science

STEP was a train-the-trainers professional development project for middle school science education specialists and lead teachers.   STEP increased the Earth and Space Science (ESS)  knowledge and pedagogy, and skills and confidence in providing professional development of middle school science specialists and lead teachers in the Houston region.  STEP provided 5 years of in-depth long-term professional development for educators already supporting other middle school teachers in Earth and space science, connecting them with Earth and space scientists from local institutions, and provided faded scaffolding support for participants as they conducted their own professional development for middle school science teachers.

Van Allen Probes Educators

The Van Allen Probes education and public outreach (E/PO) programs provide training for formal and informal educators. Middle and high school teachers and informal educators receive content understanding and experience with hands-on activities and interact with scientists through face-to-face workshop opportunities. A unique aspect of the workshop was participation by mission scientists and instrument leads who designed and presented classroom activities.The objective of the Van Allen Probes E/PO effort is to prepare teachers to engage and educate students in STEM content and Van Allen Probes heliophysics-related science as well as engineering and technology.  This effort also has a lesson plan/curriculum component.  Ongoing communication and support from the Van Allen Probes E/PO office was provided to educators following the workshop.

Van Allen Probes: Pre-Service Teacher Workshop

The Van Allen Probes Pre-Service Teacher Workshops provide professional development opportunities for undergraduate and graduate pre-service teachers attending HBCUs.  The training engages students by providing a more in-depth experience that focuses on the Van Allen Probes mission.  The objective is to improve K-12 educator awareness and understanding of the Sun’s influence on Earth and near-Earth space through the study of Earth’s radiation belts.  Students interact with scientists and engineers, and are introduced to mission-related activities and resources.  The goal is for the pre-service teachers to learn how to incorporate activities and resources into their classroom lesson plans to motivate their students to pursue STEM studies and careers. 

The workshops target traditionally underserved populations with the intent of increasing diversity in space science.  Students participate in hands-on activities and classroom lessons, and then develop individual plans for implementing in their classroom.  NASA resources for teachers across curriculums are provided, as well as links to educator resources.

Van Allen Probes: Space Academy

Space Academy is a hands-on, minds-on experience designed to engage and excite both middle school students and teachers about current NASA missions. It takes students behind the scenes of actual space missions and introduces them to engineers and scientists working on some of NASA’s most exciting projects. In the format of a mini-NASA press conference, the daylong event includes briefings by Van Allen Probes mission team members represented by varying backgrounds, careers, and roles on the mission. Students play the role of reporters, and come prepared to ask the scientists and engineers questions about the mission.  Student discussions with scientists and engineers continue during lunch, followed by a tour of space simulation labs, science/engineering demonstrations--even a peek as the Van Allen Probes were being built in the cleanroom.  Weeks before the actual events, students learned about the mission, its science theme, and space-related careers through classroom activities and videos developed by the Applied Physics Laboratory and Discovery Education.  Schools in underserved, underrepresented communities are targeted.

 

 

Van Allen Probes: Lesson Plans and Activities (Gr 5-12)

Development of Van Allen Probes resources for informal education and formal education grades 5-12.  These include lesson plans as well as interactive games for students.